Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kilroy applauds education position of Scott Gesty, Libertarian candidate for US House

Because good sense is good sense, no matter where you find it:

Kilroy isn’t switching political parties but I think this Libertarian fellow Scott Gesty has the right ideas in abolishing the United States Department of Education and give control back to local communities. Not issue of charter schools vs traditional or teacher evaluation but giving those decisions back to the states and local school districts is the right thing to do. Political third parties seem to struggle in America and perhaps they might be a good means to break the two party out of control political tug of war and for sure addressing the Wall Street take over of public schools. I know one thing for sure, Delaware republicans are in bed with democrats on this Wall Street education ponzi scheme.

Find out more about what Scott thinks here (we're still under construction, so be gentle).


Andrew Groff said...

Some may wonder where Greens and Libertarians come together on public policy and Scott has just submitted an essay perfectly explaining our common goal of getting the federal government out of education. Unfunded mandates and ridiculous quasi-programs that take away from classroom time for needless testing and fear-mongering control tactics must end. Our kids deserve better.

anonone said...

Mr. Groff, you're running as Green and a Libertarian is a complete travesty. The Greens and Libertarians are about as far apart as to what the role of government should be in promoting the general welfare as they can be.

The Greens do not believe in getting the Federal Government out of education; that is simply a lie. From their platform, "The Green Party is unalterably opposed to the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education" and "Federal policy on education should act principally to provide equal access to a quality education."

Whereas Libertarian believe that believe that educating children should not be compulsory, that education should be entirely privately funded with no government interference, and therefore only those whose parents can afford to or want to pay for schooling their children would be able to.

The core libertarian belief that "government's only purpose is to protect people from violence and coercion" is the antithesis of the Green Party platform. You should run as the Libertarian that you are, and not as some fraud Libertarian-Green fusion candidate.

delacrat said...

Why do Libertarians have such an idee fixe over the Department of Education, which accounts for less than 1.8% of total Federal spending in the 2013 budget? I am not convinced there needs to be a cabinet level Dept. of Ed., but it seems to me there much bigger problems for Greens and Libertarians to focus on than this.

Steve Newton said...


Why do you assume that I have come to the conclusion that the US DOE should be eliminated as a standalone agency from some reflexive libertarian ideological knee-jerk.

I have come to that conclusion because twenty-plus years of working in Delaware and around the country with public education, talking and listening to students and teachers, analyzing test scores, looking at budgets, examining compliance costs, have convinced me that the primary authority should be returned to the school districts, and that Federal education functions should be returned to HHS (which used to be HEW).

My credentials? Glad you asked.

8 years running the largest Social Studies teacher preparation program in the region.

5 years working as a national consultant in teaching effectiveness, Social Studies education, and high-stakes testing in about 60 districts in 21 states as Senior Fellow for the American Institute for History Education.

2 years working as a consultant for online education for the Office for Disaster Preparedness.

Co-Chair of the Delaware Content Standards Commission for Social Studies, appointed by Governor Castle and re-appointed by Governor Carper. Primary author and editor of Delaware K-12 Social Studies Standards

Member of the Graduation Standards Revision committee for the Department of Public Instruction (now DE DOE).

Reviewer and analyst for DE DOE of the DSTP and served as Subject Area chair for the Curriculum Benchmarks Committee (appointed by Sec Ed Woodruff).

Assessment consultant to 13 of the 19 school districts in Delaware.

Served on three different Federal DOE task forces assigned to assess grant applications for school districts developing strategies to meet compliance requirements for NCLB.

Recipient of education-related awards from the Delaware Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Delaware State Board of Education, Department of Homeland Security, Virginia Army National Guard, and about thirteen major urban school districts around the country.

You want to dance? We can dance.

But if you knew anything at all about Delaware public education--even read the education blogs--you would know that getting the Feds to back off from unwanted intrusion in public schools is a position shared by the Organization of Chief State School Officers, the National School Board Association, the National Education Association, and our own Delaware State Education Association (which is not meant to portray ANY of them as endorsing anything Scott or I have written).

I've written extensively on the case for eliminating the US DOE, and you obviously have not read any of it.

Try here for a start:

If you want to challenges specifics in that article, feel free. Otherwise do your damn research before you pontificate about this issue again.

delacrat said...


I understand that education is your life's work. I don't think much of the Dept. of Ed. or Federal meddling like No Child Left' either. Having said that, it's hard to see where the Dept. of Ed. is anywhere near as pernicious and destructive an entity, as say, the Dept of "Defense" or the Federal Reserve. To make the Dept. of Ed. an issue while we are mired in umpteen bullshit wars and a permanent economic "recovery" strikes me arguing over the proverbial deck chairs.

Steve Newton said...

Sorry, Delacrat, not buying it.

I have been vocally opposed to America's wars since I started this blog, and my presidential candidate wants to end them and cut the Defense budget by 43%.

He also wants to Audit the Fed, a subject I have written on as well.

So don't try that diversion that there are more important things than education to be worried about.

The reason this post exists, if you knew the Delaware blogosphere, is because Kilroy looked at Scott's "Issues" page (which includes national security, the economy, health care, etc etc) and selected his Education piece to focus on.


Because Kilroy's Delaware is an EDUCATION blog.

The reason I focused on it is because Scott Gesty is running for Congress on a shoestring budget, and John Carney has nearly $800,000 in special interest money.

And in his two years in Congress he has not done one damn thing toward ending America's wars, auditing the Fed, or helping to fix public education.

But you and A1 were both just trying for the cheap shot on "libertarians" and you got caught at it.

Then when it turned out that I do have the credentials to make that kind of statement, you tried to divert to war and the Fed.

Now that you can't use that one, where's your criticism?

Maybe you'd actually like to use the link and visit Scott's website.

anonone said...

Well. Steve, under Gary Johnson's terms as Gov of New Mexico, he increased spending on education by a third and student performance got worse by every measure (and it was already among the worst in the nation). So why should anybody trust his solutions?

Non-specific platitudes about "eliminating the Dept of Education" or "giving more local control" are meaningless don't offer any real solution. You and I agree on the corporatization of schools, but simply suggesting that dismantling the system without offering any suggestions on concrete steps to improve it is just empty and foolish rhetoric.

And implementing the Libertarian ideas of eliminating public funding of education and making education non-compulsory would be disastrous.


Andrew Groff said...

anonone, I am certain that there are no purity tests for either the Libertarian nor Green Parties. It is a fact that I am a Libertarian leaning Green, much to the consternation of some in the Green Party and some Libertarians. I guess I am a policy pragmatist when it comes to issues and I diverge from many "theoretical, utopian, and idealistic statements contrived by party die-hards (in all parties) at party conventions from 4 years ago. There are some aspects of both Libertarian and Green platforms that I find problematic. However, many of the fundamental tenets from both parties resonate with me. Paradoxically at times. Both inform decision-making and add to thought.
I'm not a huge endorser of putting labels on people. I attempt to bring many diverse people together, with seemingly irreconcilable differences to find creative and inventive solutions to problems. That's where the rubber hits the road and makes a difference in real life. To do otherwise would be to spend life in intellectual purgatory, for me.
Regarding education policy I am my opinions are informed through the experience of my parents teaching in Delaware public schools their whole life as well as my experience as a college teacher and parent of a public school-attending child. I feel fairly comfortable with the assertions I have made in terms of re-localization of schools and de-federalization of school programs. As I analyze the impact and effectiveness of the USDOE, I can't see, nor detect *any value added effect in it's existence. In-fact, there has been real harm inflicted, IMO, from programs such as NCLB. As yet, I have not heard any Green support NCLB or RTTT. The only assertion the GP's make is the need for strong, well funded public schools, which I support. So I suppose I'm not so purely Libertarian after all?
If you label me, you invalidate me.

anonone said...

Sorry, Andrew, but saying the Greens and Libertarians share a "common goal of getting the federal government out of education" is a display of either extreme ignorance of the Green Party's position on education or willful dishonesty.

As I pointed out, the Green party position on education is the antithesis of the Libertarian position on education. They are not reconcilable. It isn't a matter of a policy "purity test;" it is a matter of getting your facts right and not misrepresenting Green or Libertarian party positions for political expediency.

The Greens believe in a government that is a force for improving the general welfare of people. The Libertarians believe that "government's only purpose is to protect people from violence and coercion," and, for example, think that spending tax dollars on welfare is akin to armed robbery (read the LPD website).

Perhaps you should take the time to study the platforms of both parties before you make sweeping and inaccurate generalizations about them, and then have the courage to choose one or the other.

In regards your paraphrasing of the Kierkegaard quote, it is you who has labeled yourself, not I.


tom said...


anonone is a cowardly troll that repeats its misconceptions like a poorly programmed & defective robot.

don't waste your time responding to it.